Nina Childress (b. 1961 in Pasadena, CA) is one of the most renowned and celebrated French painters of her generation, but before there was Nina Childress, there was Nina Kuss, muse of the French punk band Lucrate Milk and member of the street artist collective Les Frères Ripoulin.  


Always reinventing herself and embracing all modes of representation, Childress has explored painting in abstraction and hyperrealism, magnified everyday objects, and created introspective self-portraits. It is therefore not surprising to find a sincere and frank energy in her paintings, which often combine humor and provocation. Whatever their motif and size, her paintings are immediately identifiable by a seductive quality of color and the frequent use of fluorescent or phosphorescent pigments. 


Childress offers a gritty revisiting of the history of portraiture in Western popular culture, increasingly capturing the stereotypes of female representation. The artist refers to her practise her as “conceptual and dumb,” never enforcing strict boundaries and constantly changing her subjects. In Childress’ portraits we see the familiar faces of cultural icons such as Sylvie Vartan, Kate Bush, Hedy Lamar, Bulle, Pascale Ogier and, more recently, pioneer gallerists Colin de Land and Pat Hearn.  


Childress studied at Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs de Paris (ENSAD), and at Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-arts de Paris where she currently teaches and was appointed Chairman in 2019. In 2021, she was nominated for the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor for her career in the arts. In December 2021 a major retrospective was dedicated to her in Bordeaux at the FRAC MÉCA Nouvelle-Aquitaine. Published for this occasion, was her catalogue raisonné, along with an autobiography written by Fabienne Radi. Childress’ work has been shown nationally and internationally, most notably at MAMCO (Geneva), Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Centre Régional d'Art Contemporain (Sète), Fondation d’entreprise Ricard (Paris), FRAC Limousin-Artothèque (Limoges), and FRAC Nouvelle-Aquitaine MÉCA (Bordeaux) where she had a major retrospective in 2022. 


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